For many couples, wedding plans usually become the center of their lives for at least a year before the actual day itself. Do you remember the hours you and your spouse spent going through magazines to look for that perfect venue, dress, theme or dinner menu for your special day? After the wedding ceremony, what remains are the wonderful memories and beautiful pictures as well as the most enduring gift of it all - a future together as a family. The first priority for most newlyweds would be the planning for their first home together.
Compared to the wedding day itself, many couples feel that finding and choosing a home after marriage is less exciting and perhaps more stressful as it involves financial planning and balancing the priorities of the new relationship. It does not however, have to be so. With careful thought and an open approach, planning and finding a home for yourselves can be just as exciting as planning for the wedding itself.
Agree on Your Priorities
We all look forward to having a place of our own. However, a home of your own will mean having to be responsible for property taxes, utility bills, service/conservancy charges, groceries and your daily meals. These costs which used to be taken care of by your parents will soon become additional costs in your personal expenses every month.
These are just the first in a series of financial expenses which you and your spouse will have to plan for. Other important matters such as how much money should be saved for the wedding and in the future, what housing options you should consider and what other things in life that you aspire to have need to be considered. Each of these decisions will have an impact on plans you make today. The financial commitments you take on will have an impact on the quality of your family’s future.
Therefore, the first and most important discussion you must have together has to be the one about “How much money should we save and what are our financial aspirations?” A clear understanding of each other’s needs and priorities will allow you to minimize disagreements about how you plan your to finance and fund your new home and what type of home you expect to live in.
Know Your Options
Once you understand the financial commitments you are prepared to make, spend time to understand what’s out there and to explore your options.
Some things you might want to find out about are:
- Housing grants from the HDB
- Housing loan amounts that you are eligible to secure
- Your available CPF and cash savings for a first time flat purchase.
Visit HDB’s InfoWEB at www.hdb.gov.sg to get help in financial planning as well as for applications of the HDB Loan Eligibility letter and obtaining other information on buying a flat.
Focus on Building a Home
Know also that at the end of the day, you are doing this to build a home that you and your family can live comfortably in that will meet your needs. So focus on ensuring that your plans are financially prudent and spend your time together to build your marriage instead of worrying over financial woes.
For more information on buying a flat, please visit the HDB InfoWEB at www.hdb.gov.sg. Used with permission; for reprints, please contact HDB.